Friday, August 24, 2007

For the love of learning, you gotta love a good list.

Leadership and learning are an inseparable pair. As John F. Kennedy said, "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."

In today's environment, leaders require learning opportunities that are continuous, always accessible, and fast.

As Jack Stack writes in the forward of the book,
1001 Ways to Reward Employees

We like things fast, but we don't have time to study. The world is changing so rapidly that by the time we learn something, it has often changed in some way, shape, or form. We want information in small bites
Learning opportunities come in a variety of forms. Of course there is the classic class or seminar. However, I find that continuous learning is more likely to come from reading, life lessons, discovery, experience, and, a more recent revelation, a good list. For me, the discovery and review of a good list is a great learning opportunity. Let me explain more.

For example, I recently encountered "The Manager's Cheat Sheet: 101 Common-Sense Rules for Leaders" on the Inside CRM site. The Cheat Sheet is a list of tips for managers and leaders.

When you review the list, you might say, "been there, done that" for many of the items. In that case, the validation is useful and important in learning. It is good to know that a concept that you hold dear is validated and valued elsewhere. For example, take rule #8:

Always smile. Smiles are contagious and will make others feel positive when you're around.

I blogged on this idea in a post titled, It Begets It. The "Manager's Cheat Sheet" list validated an existing notion that I had. This is learning.

Other rules might put a new twist on an old concept. For example, rule #77:

Adopt a predictive managerial style. Don't wait for things to happen to make a move. Anticipate problems and provide contingency plans.

This rules reminds me of the quiet leadership definition of vision. The type of vision that gives you awareness of the events around you and serves the opportunity to be proactive. The rule put a new twist on another concept. Still, this is learning and it is fast.

A good list allows you to quickly discover and validate. For the love of learning, you gotta love a good list.

The Manager's Cheat Sheet is one of hundreds of good lists. Here are a couple more of my favorites:

Rosa Say: Twelve Rules of Self-Leadership
Slacker Manager:
Guiding Principles

The 12 Characteristics of High Performance Teams
Tom Peters - Change this Manifesto:
This I Believe

I'd love to learn about other lists readers have found useful. In the interest of learning, please comment with other lists that you appreciate. Remember it's all about learning.

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

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